A hiker who left Whiteface Mountain in New York was recently found alive but confused 2,900 miles away in Sacramento, California.
According to NBC-5, Constantinos “Danny” Filippidis, a 49-year-old man from Toronto, went missing last Wednesday, Feb. 7, while at the resort at Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington, New York.
Filippidis’ friends said they couldn’t find him as the resort closed last Wednesday.
The Toronto skier originally traveled to Whiteface Mountain for a ski retreat with eight friends. Though his friends decided to end their run early, Filippidis went back out for one last run in the early afternoon. He never came back, according to the New York DailyNews.
Hundreds of volunteers searched for Filippidis over the last week, according to NewYorkUpstate.com. More than 140 people from the New York State Police, the Department of Homeland Security and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation looked for Filippidis.
The group spent a combined 7,000 hours look for the lost skier, according to The Albany Times-Union.
But then Filippidis called his wife from a Sacramento airport this week, according to NY Daily News. He received medical help and then called the Sacramento police. He was reportedly in good health.
Toronto Professional Firefighters Local 3888 President Frank Ramagnano told NBC-5 that Filippidis was confused and couldn’t answer questions about how he arrived on the other side of the country.
Ramagano said Filippidis was wearing the same clothes, helmet and gear that he was last seen in when he went missing.
"I don't know how he got there or why he got there," Ramagnano told the Times Union. "Rightfully so, it is under investigation. ... No matter what they discover, it doesn't take away from the nearly 200 people who came together to help."
Filippidis did, however, remember a nickname he had for his wife when he spoke with her, Ramagnano said.
Ramagnano said authorities will continue to investigate the situation. He said he is unaware of Filippidis had any substance abuse or mental health issues.1 comment on this story
“We understand that there will be speculation and many questions at this time, however, please appreciate that authorities will be conducting a full and thorough investigation into what transpired,” Ramagnano said, according to The Canadian Press.
Filippidis, who has worked at the Toronto Fire Department for 28 years, remains in the hospital surrounded by family and friends.
“We were quite concerned, and I had discussions with some of our peer support people on exactly what we could do for our members who were skiing with him,” Ramagnano said, according to The Canadian Press. “You could imagine the guilt they would have if this turned out to be a tragic event.”